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Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve was established as a game reserve in 1926  and was among the first protected areas to be gazetted. The main reason was to protect the large numbers of Uganda Kobs in the area. It covers an area of 542 km2. It is located in western Uganda, within   Ntoroko and Kabarole districts.

Description and Management History

Katonga Wildlife Reserve with an area of 207 square kilometers was gazetted in 1964 as a game reserve, to serve as a corridor for migrating wildlife from Western Uganda to Tanzania and Sudan. It became a Wildlife Reserve in 1996 when the former Game Department and Uganda National Parks merged to form Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Currently, the reserve is managed by UWA under the Kibale Conservation Area administration with a Warden In-Charge based at the Reserve Head Office at Kikorogoto.

Date Established


Geographical Location

The reserve is a southward annexe to Queen Elizabeth National Park, separated from Lake Edward by a 7km wide sector of the park. 0°30'S, 29°50'E.

Altitude About 1,050m

Area 265km2 (33,000ha); contiguous to Queen Elizabeth National Park 2056km2 (197,800ha) and its associated reserves


Physical Features

Situated on the western arm of the Central African rift valley.



The moist deciduous forest and grass savanna are similar to the sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park south of Maramagambo Forest with dominant trees of Acacia and Albizia spp., and grasses such as Imperata. Cymbopogon. Hyparrhenia, and Beckeropsis.


Mammals usually occur in small numbers and include: eastern black-and-white Colobus Colobus guereza and some red colobus Colobus badius, the eastern subspecies of chimpanzee Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii, lion Panthera leo, leopard Panthera parduselephant Loxodonta africana, warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus, giant forest hog Hylochoerus meinerlzhageni, hippopotamus Hippopotamus artjphibius, buffalo Syncerus caffer, Uganda kob Kobus kob thormsi, waterbuck Kohus ellipsiprymnusbushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus, topi Darttaliscus lunatus and Oribi Ourebia ourebi. The abundant birdlife is similiar to Queen Elizabeth National Park.


The reserve acts as a buffer zone between Queen Elizabeth National Park and the well-populated areas to the south and east. There is no zonation within the reserve.

Disturbances or Deficiencies

Settlement and cultivation in adjoining areas are encroaching on the reserve and local people poach for meat. A road from the national park to Kabale, which provides access to Kayonza Forest, crosses the reserve.

Date Established

1964  Previously a Controlled Hunting Area  1962.

Geographical Location

Western Uganda, adjoining Murchison Falls National Park to the north. Approximately r50'N, 3r45'E.

Altitude 900m - 1,300m

Area 675km2 (82,000ha); contiguous to Murchison Falls National Park 3877km2 (384,000ha) and Bugungu Wildlife Reserve 473km2 (52,000ha)

Physical Features

This is an area of gentle relief crossed by several watercourses, south of the Victoria Nile.


The savanna grasslands are dominated by elephant grass Pennisetum purpureurn and Hyparrhenia rufa with isolated forest and savanna trees representing remnants of former forest cover. It is bordered to the south-west by a forested zone.


Species similar to those in Murchison Falls National Park include elephant Loxodonta africana, giraffe Giraffa carrielopardalis, buffalo Syncerus caffer, and many antelope species. Large numbers of animals move in herds to and from Murchison Falls National Park.

Date Established

1968 originally established as a Controlled Hunting Area in 1963 

Geographical Location

Between Murchison Falls  National Park and the north shore of Lake Mobutu Sese Seko (Lake Albert). 2°15'N, 3r30'E.

Altitude 600- 1,300m

Area 52,000ha; contiguous to Murchison Falls National Park (384,000ha) and Karuma Wildlife Reserve  (82,000ha)

Physical Features

The features are similar to the southern sector of Murchison Falls National Park. Bugungu Wildlife  Reserves and Karuma Wildlife  Reserve constitute a buffer zone for the southern boundary of Murchison Falls National Park.


Dry thicket with some open savanna woodland


The area is well-known for chimpanzees Pan troglodytes, but the number in the reserve is unclear. Mammals include lion Panthera leo, elephant Loxodonta africanawarthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus, buffalo Syncerus caffer, waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnusUganda kob Kobus koh, hartebeest Alcelaphus buselaphus, and many small ungulates. The reserve includes part of Budongo Forest which has a relatively rich birdlife.

Date Established

Established in 1962 as the White Rhino Sanctuary.

Established as Ajai Game Reserve in 1965 

Geographical Location

West bank of the Nile between Pakwach and Nimule, about 10km north of Inde and 32km east-south-east of Arua. 2°55'N, 3r25'E.

Altitude 700-1,000m

Area 148km2  (15,800ha)

Physical Features

This area of rivers and riverine swamp borders the River Nile and two tributaries, the Ala and Acha. The reserve includes a number of swamp islands including Ajai island formed by gradual deposition of soil from the hills by the Ala River. The swamp is surrounded by savanna woodland. Most of the swamp is flooded during the rainy months (June to January), but dries out from February to May.


Wooded savanna and grassland communities of Loudetia-Eragrostis and Hyparrhenia. There is a variety of vegetation on the island due to its gradual formation. The older eastern sector has a mosaic of savanna forest and sandy plains, areas of thick forest, rain forest and open grass plains with Imperata (a grass occurring elsewhere only in the highlands which are the source of the Ala River). The western sector is covered in dense elephant grass Pennisetum with clumps of wild date plum Phoenix.  


Migration of animals onto the island during the dry season is necessitated by lack of forage in the surrounding dry scrubland. Mammals include hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius along the Nile, Uganda kob Kobus kob ihomasi, hartebeest Alcelaphus buselaphusbushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus, and waterbuck Kobus elUpsiprymnus. Black and white colobus Colobus guereza and baboon Papio sp. have been recorded.

Conservation Management

There are guard posts at Ogoko, Iriemve and Inde. Iriemve and Inde were not in use in 1980.

Zoning None

Disturbances or Deficiencies The small size of the reserve results in many animals continually moving in and out into open areas in the vicinity where they are subject to poaching. The threatened northern white rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum cottoni has not been seen here since the war in 1979 and is assumed to have been wiped out.

Tourism Facilities

The reserve is managed by Uganda Wildlife Safaris Ltd who offer sport hunting photographic safaris



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